1.) Is Christopher Cox a wise choice (in theory or in practice) for the position that he was appointed?
The answer to this really depends on what you want the SEC to do. If you take the position that the SEC should be trying to regulate business and keep it in check, while still allowing it to thrive then Cox is in no way the right choice. If you would prefer to see the SEC leave corporations alone and let them do as they wish (even if that means unethical practices) then he is definitely your man.
The Washington Post
had a good story on Cox this past Friday.
Cox, 52, a Republican from California, has taken pro-business positions on many issues. He sponsored legislation that curtailed plaintiffs' right to bring lawsuits alleging securities violations and opposed a regulatory drive to treat stock options as expenses, fighting on the side of the technology firms that constitute much of his Orange County constituency.
Among his biggest financial supporters during 16 years in Congress are law firms including Latham & Watkins LLP and the nation's largest accounting firms, including Ernst & Young LLP, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and KPMG LLP. Securities firms have donated more than $254,000 to Cox during his congressional tenure, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Cox has an 87 percent lifetime rating from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, meaning he has voted in favor of the chamber's position on legislation most of the time, according to R. Bruce Josten, an executive vice president who worked closely with the lawmaker on the securities litigation bill in 1995.
So what do we have here? We have a man that has a very clear record of siding with corporate interests, allowing corporations tax loopholes and a man in the pockets of the industry he is supposed to be regulating.
What really strikes me as being highly hypocritical here is the fact that Bush has claimed numerous times in his speeches that we can't have another Enron and we need to bring about some accountability to corporate america. Cox is exactly the kind of person that will never do any of that.2.) What challenges will Cox face and how can they be resolved?
The challenges Cox faces have to do with topics that have had a very real impact on this country in the past decade and companies like Enron and Worldcom exhibit all of the symptoms. What the head of the SEC should be doing is cracking down on companies that are toeing that line. The legislation that came out of all of this was Sarbanes-Oxley and Cox has yet to take a position on that. However, if his record says anything it says that he'll take a position against it.